Apples, food storage


Dehydrated food commodities can be packaged in restaurant-size No.10 cans intended for long-term storage for such uses as personal storage, emergency relief efforts and military rations. Because foods packaged for long-term storage are seldom opened soon after purchase, the quality of the product or the adequacy of the packaging could be unknown to the buyer for months or even years. The objective of this research was to compare the quality of various brands of dehydrated apple slices sold at the retail level in No.10 cans and to evaluate the adequacy of the packaging for long-term food storage. Nine brands of dehydrated apples packaged in No. 10 cans were obtained from retail distributors representing nine sources in four states. All brands were labeled as being pre-treated with sulfur dioxide to prevent browning. All cans contained oxygen absorbers and were labeled as having an oxygen-free environment. A 50-member consumer panel evaluated aroma, flavor, and overall acceptability using a 9-point hedonic scale. Other observations included headspace oxygen, can seam evaluation, product color, and water activity. Hedonic scores for overall acceptability ranged from 4.8 to 5.8 with significant differences between brands. Headspace oxygen ranged from less than 100 ppm to 21%. Four of the nine brands exhibited head space oxygen levels of 2% or greater. Wide variation in can seam quality was observed, with a direct correlation between poor seams and high head space oxygen levels. No significant differences in Hunter color values were observed. Water activity ranged from 0.199 to 0.307. There appears to be a wide variation in head space oxygen levels and can seam quality of dehydrated apple slices packaged for long term storage and available for sale at the retail level. Manufacturers need to ensure proper packaging to optimize product quality during extended storage.

Original Publication Citation

Oesterle TS, Ogden LV, and Pike OA. July 23. Quality and adequacy for long-term storage of dehydrated apple slices packaged in No. 1 cans. Poster presentation. Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting.

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Life Sciences


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science